Expanded information on the qualification and skill sets for:
Occupational Therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations).
Occupational Therapists require a minimum of a Bachelor of Science degree from a five year AOTA accredited occupational therapy school. Passage of state board exam is required to become certified and licensed to practice. Occupational therapists can also enter the field with a master’s or doctoral degree.
The Certified occupational therapy assistants, or COTA’s, are skilled health care providers who work under the supervision of occupational therapists and require a two year Associate degree from an accredited occupational therapy assistant school. Candidates must pass a state board exam after graduation to become certified to practice.
Physical therapists apply research and proven techniques to help people get back motion. All physical therapists are required to receive a graduate degree – either master’s degree or a clinical doctorate – from an accredited physical therapist program before taking the national licensure examination that allows them to practice. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapists practices. They are trusted health care professionals with extensive clinical experience who examine, diagnose, and then prevent or treat conditions that limit the body’s ability to move and function in daily life.
Your physical therapists may choose to team with a physical therapist assistant (PTA). PTAs are educated and licensed clinicians that work under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist to improve your mobility and help you move forward.
PTAs must complete rigorous academic and clinical education associate degree programs; pass a national licensure examination and be licensed to certified by the states in which they work.
Speech-language pathologists in a medical setting assess, diagnose, treat and help to prevent oral motor, swallowing, cognitive-linguistic, speech and language disorders. They use physical examination, instrumental technology and standardized cognitive-linguistic and language tests to diagnose and guide treatment.
Speech-language pathologists develop an individualized plan of care, tailored to each patient’s needs. They provide education to patients, their family members and caregivers regarding impairments, disease processes and compensatory strategies. They develop daily home programs unique to each individual’s strengths and weakness that facilitate maintenance of swallowing, cognitive-linguistic, speech or language skills at an optimal level.
Working with the full range of human communication and its disorders, speech-language pathologists:
*Evaluation and diagnose speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders
*Treat speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorder in individuals of all
ages from infants to the elderly
The work of a speech-language pathologist if further enhanced by graduate education, which is mandated for certification by the Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC) of ASHA. They must earn a graduate degree, successfully complete the required clinical experiences and pass a national examination. Additionally the individual must acquire the requisite knowledge and skills mandated by certification standards while enrolled in a program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA).
Certified athletic trainers are medical experts in preventing, recognizing, managing and rehabilitating injuries that result from physical activity. Athletic trainers can help you avoid unnecessary medical treatment and disruption of normal daily life; if you’re injured, they can get you on the mend and keep you on the move.
As part of a complete health care team, the certified athletic trainer works under the direction of a licensed physician and in cooperation with other health care professionals, athletic administrators, coaches and parents.
Certified athletic trainers must earn a bachelor or masters degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum or meet other requirement set by the Board of Certification (BOC).